Finally, I have got my 1998 A8 Quattro ready to roll after dealing with a few last major issues. It's been quite a saga, and it's not over yet, but the big major tasks have now been completed, and it's a car. Read on for the tale of how I got from nowhere to here.
My long-time faithful automotive companion, the 1982 300SD, is on its way out as a 1998 A8 Quattro comes in. It's just old enough (and low-spec enough) to have come with an ordinary radio instead of a LCD navigation unit. Unlike the 1997 which became the parts car when I got this car, the CD changer at least speaks an ordinary and boring protocol and it can be emulated away for those who would like a line input instead.
Some while back, I bought a 1997 Audi A8 Quattro with a bunch of problems for a little too much money, let's just not talk about how much. Not a lot, but still too much. I've worked through most of them problems, but then had an electrical issue that sent me back to looking for a front-end harness. Long story short, I wound up buying a parts car for $300 and then driving it home in limp mode over the Hopland Grade, like a boss. And since it's nicer than my car, I'm just going ahead and swapping the long-ago-warranty-replaced transmission which I've had fitted with the Transgo main pressure valve fix into the newer, nicer, lower-mileage car. And yesterday, I actually managed to extract the motor and trans from the 1997.
Look, it's not that I regret buying the Audi... wait. I regret buying the Audi, any time I'm not actually driving it, which has been less than two months in a year so far. But maybe those regrets will vanish as I continue to iron out problems. It's that I really miss my Impreza.
Quite some while ago, I bought an Audi A8 Quattro for what seemed like a good price. It was not a bad price, it just wasn't a good price after all. It's been a learning experience, which is automotive slang for I should have spent more money. I haven't become an expert by any means, but I've got a good overview of the vehicle, especially the engine. This is partly because I used Google to translate VAG1 SSP2 105, 161, and 162, which are "V8-Motor", "Audi A8", and "ABS 5 ... Audi A8" respectively, and partly because I've replaced both head gaskets. The following text is adapted from some text I wrote in response to an email question, which came in response to a post on QuattroWorld A8 forum. I thought it might be of interest to others thinking about doing a head job on the 32 valve Audi V8 Motor.